Market Research

The Digital Future Of Client Relationships - Report

Chrissy Coleman Asia Correspondent Hong Kong 7 May 2013

The Digital Future Of Client Relationships - Report

According to a study by SEI, Standard Chartered Private Bank and Scorpio Partnership, the more opportunities banks create to connect digitally with their clients, the greater the chance they have to inspire their brand loyalty.

According to a study by SEI, Standard Chartered Private Bank and Scorpio Partnership, the more opportunities banks create to connect digitally with their clients, the greater the chance they have to inspire their brand loyalty.

The final report in the 2012-2013 Futurewealth series, entitled The Digital Future of Client Relationships, considered 16 leading global brands that have been recognised for having successful digital marketing strategies and that have a strong following among Futurewealth customers. It finds that the brands that have embraced the multi-faceted nature of digital relationships also have a greater influence on their customers' purchasing decisions.

The wealthy

Importantly, wealthier customers are more influenced by multi-channel marketing than their less affluent peers. For example, respondents with personal wealth of more than $4 million, are 40 per cent more likely to be influenced by a multi-channel strategy from a bank than clients with wealth less than $500,000.

Yet, banks are lagging behind other kinds of luxury provider when it comes to fostering connections with clients digitally. For example, wealthy individuals who own luxury cars find the digital marketing from those firms to have an importance of 6.6 out of 10 in their purchasing decision. For banks, the equivalent number is 5 out of 10. Luxury car owners also graded the quality of on-going digital contact with car companies at 7.1 out of 10 versus 5.9 among the wealthy clients of banks.

“Based on the collective findings of all four of the Futurewealth reports, it’s obvious the banking and wealth management industry is making strides in using technology and digital communications, but not yet meeting the demands and interests of its clients,” said Joseph P. Ujobai, executive vice president, SEI.


“Technology integration and workflow management features available through today’s wealth management platforms are certainly helping, but it’s personal and online relationships that will close the gap between financial services and other industries. Wealth management providers need to recognise and concentrate on what drives the up-and-coming wealthy to select and commit to certain brands,” he continued.

Of note, wealthy clients from the Asia Pacific region rated the continuing digital contact from their banks slightly higher, with a grade of 6.6 out of 10. However, in Europe there is evidently need for improvement with an on-going digital performance rating of just 5.5 out of 10.

“The uptake of digital channels amongst high net worth clients and the increasing influence of these channels on decision-making cannot be ignored. This is a new era of client engagement and more should be done to recognise these meaningful changes in consumer behaviour. I look forward to exploring new digital opportunities for ourselves and our clients,” said Shayne Nelson, chief executive of Standard Chartered Private Bank.

Brand loyalty

The paper also considers the inter-relationship between digital marketing strategies and brand loyalty. This year’s Brand Love index, which measures three dimensions of a customer’s long-term relationship with a firm (warmth, commitment and excitement), comprises only firms that have been recognised for their digital marketing approach and finds almost all of them have increased their standing in the eyes of customers and clients.

Banks have increased their Brand Love most, with a 7.2 per cent improvement since 2011. However, once again, luxury car companies stand out for inspiring the most Brand Love among their clients, with an average Brand Love score of 86 points, versus 71 points among leading international banking brands.

“We can see from the responses of the Futurewealthy that banks are having a hard time matching the digital marketing and communications success of other kinds of luxury provider,” said Cath Tillotson, managing partner at Scorpio Partnership.

“Banks may want to consider taking more digital and branding cues from the leaders in this field as they look to extend their client relationships,” she added.

This report is the final chapter in this year’s four-part series, which together are a component of the larger Futurewealth Project. Each report in this year’s series focuses on a different aspect of the theme of how technology and digital communications can be used to engage the up-and-coming global wealthy.

The previous reports in the series have included: The Digital World of the Futurewealthy, Stepping into the Communication Age and Helpful Investment Technology. The reports are available online and are based on the views of 3,477 of the world’s up-and-coming wealthy, who have an average net worth of $1.9 million. More broadly, the Futurewealth Project aims to better understand the ambitions and consumer attitudes of the world’s Futurewealthy clients.

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